Heroin and Suboxone: Interactions, Dangers, & Benefits
Heroin and Suboxone are two commonly discussed substances, as the U.S. is in the midst of an opioid epidemic affecting millions of people. The opioid epidemic includes not only illicit heroin, but also prescription painkillers.
So, what should you know about heroin and Suboxone? What is heroin and is it really different from Suboxone? What are the interactions, dangers & benefits you should know about heroin and Suboxone?
Heroin is an illegal opioid sold on the black market It’s typically injected and what’s sold on the streets varies in purity and is often cut with other ingredients, which frequently turn out to be dangerous or deadly.
Heroin acts on the brain and the central nervous system much like prescription narcotic painkillers. It crosses the blood-brain barrier and then binds to the opioid receptors in the brain and central nervous system. When this happens, the brain is flooded with a large amount of dopamine, which is what allows people to feel a euphoric high when they take heroin. Following the euphoria, people often become drowsy and may nod off, because heroin and other opioids depress the central nervous system.
When your brain is exposed to the rush of dopamine that occurs because of heroin, addiction can develop since heroin activates reward pathways.
Heroin is highly addictive, and people also develop a physical dependence to this drug. This means that if you were to stop using heroin suddenly, you would go through withdrawal. Withdrawal from opioids is one of the most difficult parts of recovery for many people.
So what about heroin and Suboxone? What is Suboxone and the possible interactions, dangers & benefits?
Suboxone helps people go through withdrawal more comfortably because the symptoms are mitigated, and the naloxone helps prevent a relapse because even if someone were to use heroin or another opioid while on Suboxone, they wouldn’t feel high.
The buprenorphine binds to opioid receptors in the brain, like heroin, but this is a longer-acting drug that isn’t supposed to give the same high as other opioids.
Buprenorphine is considered a partial opioid agonist, which in simple terms means it creates many of the same effects of opioids, but in a milder way. It can’t deliver the full effects of opioids.
With heroin and suboxone, many of the side effects are similar to one another. For example, some of the most common Suboxone side effects including nausea, vomiting, and constipation.
The interactions, dangers & benefits of Suboxone all have to be weighed carefully against one another if a physician is considering the use of Suboxone to help someone stop using heroin. For example, one of the dangers of Suboxone is the fact that it can lead to misuse on its own. It can be habit-forming for some people, and the use of Suboxone has to be carefully monitored. It should also be noted that Suboxone doesn’t alleviate cravings for opioids.
When Suboxone is used, the interactions, dangers & benefits are supposed to be carefully evaluated to make sure it’s the best option. The use of Suboxone is also supposed to be part of a comprehensive recovery treatment program that includes counseling and behavioral therapy.
Methadone is another form of medication-assisted treatment for heroin and opioid addiction, but it has to be given in a designated clinic, while Suboxone can be prescribed in any doctor’s office. This can make it potentially riskier if the doctor isn’t well-versed in addiction treatment. At the same time, the more widespread availability of Suboxone can mean that more people have access to treatment options for heroin and opioid addiction.
If you are taking Suboxone or your doctor is considering it, it’s important to carefully evaluate interactions, dangers & benefits. We’ve looked at possible dangers & benefits of Suboxone, but what about interactions?
Many of the heroin and Suboxone interaction warnings are similar to one another.
For example, you shouldn’t take benzodiazepines like Xanax or Valium with Suboxone because it can cause impairment, unconsciousness, respiratory failure or death, since both depress the central nervous system. People are warned against mixing Suboxone and cocaine as well because the use of cocaine can reduce the amount of buprenorphine in the blood and make a person go into sudden opioid withdrawal. Alcohol is also a depressant, and if you mix it with Suboxone, it can cause respiratory failure.
Before taking Suboxone, it’s important to have a full understanding of the interactions, dangers & benefits. For example, Suboxone can interact with substances like Xanax and alcohol, and it also has the potential for misuse. Doctors should be cautious about prescribing Suboxone to patients who are addicted to opioids, and it should only be used as one component of a complete treatment plan.
Have more questions about Heroin abuse?Read the most frequently asked questions
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